Everyone is hoping their team makes a good selection in the draft, but we all know that is not how it goes. These five players I will talk about have a lot of question marks heading into tonight’s draft, and I will discuss what makes them such polarizing prospects.
There is a lot of speculation amongst the big men prospect in this year’s draft. Deyonta Davis currently projects as a defensive specialist at the next level. Even though his defensive abilities is his calling card, Davis is still developing this part of his game. On offense, Davis is very raw. He can be a clean-up man from the start in the league, but he lacks confidence in his mid-range attack. Spreading the floor has become almost a much-needed asset from the four, and it is hard to gauge how confidence will translate to the next level. If Davis falls into the 15-20 range, I do not think he will be that much of a bust, as you expect a developmental prospect, but if he goes in the top ten, I do not see him ever-living up the expectations.
Marquese Chriss is on everyone’s boom or bust prospect list. I really like want Chriss can do on both ends of the basketball court, but being raw on both ends of the court do not warrant being a top ten pick, let alone top five. On defense, Chriss is very susceptible to becoming foul prone, and has not learned how to time shots. His aggression can also be used against him for opponents to get around him on the perimeter, as he looks for steals. On offense, Chriss has the ability to attack the rim, hit mid-range jumpers, and stretch the floor all the way to three. He is still developing his post game, which can lead to him taking a lot of questionable shots, or cause turnovers. A team like Toronto would be the best case scenario for Chriss, as they could slowly bring him off the bench, until he knows his role. I just do not see him getting a lot of minutes early being beneficial for his confidence, as he needs 2-3 years to learn how the game works.
I think Dragan Bender will have a successful career in the NBA, but I do not see him living up to the lofty expectations surrounding him. He is so young, and although been a dominant force in international basketball, has not faced the challenges of the NBA. His offense is mostly based from mid-range and out, causing him to not get the best looks. His inability to play in the post for a guy his size could be a crucial downfall. On defense, he lacks general awareness of what is going on around him, and can get beat easily. His size and length make him a constant threat to be a shot blocker, but he does not have the natural instincts you would hope for. For whatever team does select Bender they need to be willing to wait a season or two for him to add some strength to his body, or else he will not be a major factor in the league.
Well we are finally done talking about the potential of the big men in this draft class, and we can move on to the guards. Dejounte Murray rocketed up draft boards once he declared for the draft, and much like his teammate at Washington, both could have used another year at school before declaring. Murray has a knack for scoring, but his inability to do it consistently scares me for the next level. He is also a raw leader from the point, and not being dominant at one or the other does not usually translate well to the next level. Defensively, Murray has the potential to be a dominant force on the perimeter. Murray is currently slotted in the 10-16 range, which is fine for his talent, but these teams are also looking for a difference maker, and I think Murray needs to be behind an established point guard for a season or two before he leads a team’s offense.
Another player he rocketed up draft boards without any real reason. Malachi Richardson has the ability to get hot from anywhere on the court, but he was just so inconsistent, mixed with poor shooting mechanics this past season, I cannot see any GM having confidence for him being a difference maker for them in the near future. He struggles to create his own shot, due to below average ball handling skills. Players who seem to be snipers from deep struggle finding their range in the league, and I cannot see a player as erratic as Richardson starting off strong. Defensively, Richardson can be a great perimeter defender, capable of shutting down opponents second or third option. If he gets selected in the top twenty, I do not see him ever-living up to expectations, but he should be a serviceable role player.
By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17